An important taluka in the Hassan district and a Town Municipal Council belonging to the state of Karnataka; Belur is much known for its Chennakesava temple. A fine example of Hoysala workmanship, this city was earlier the capital of the rulers of the Hoysala Empire. Along with Halebidu, located only 16 km away, Belur ranks high in the list of tourist destinations in South India. According to the inscriptions found here, Belur was also referred to as Velapuri in the past.
The main attractions of Belur are the popular Chennakeshava temple complex which is dedicated to Chennakeshava, or Lord Vishnu. The idol of Vishnu stands as an ornate centerpiece and is encircled by the precincts of the Kappe Chennigraya temple, which was built under the orders of Queen Shantaladevi, the wife of King Vishnuvardhana. The other areas worth a look are Pushkarni, a stepped well lying to the right side of the temple’s main entrance, the Dravadian style rayagopuram situated at the entrance and the ornate sculptures in the precincts of the temple. Some parts of this temple were later added by rulers of Vijayanagar –they also considered the deity as their family god or Kuladevata.